Atletico trim gap on Madrid rivals Real

17 February 2013 08:17

Atletico Madrid moved back to within 12 points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 3-0 win Sunday over Valladolid.

Radamel Falcao got the visitors off to the perfect start with his 20th league goal of the season as he pounced from a yard after Dani Hernandez had made a fine save to deny Diego Godin.

Diego Costa then made it 2-0 seven minutes into the second-half as he smashed home Koke's knockdown and Cristian Rodriguez rounded off a first away win in six league games for Diego Simeone's men in stoppage time.

Atleti had suffered the disappointment of losing their 100% record at home this season with a 2-0 defeat to Rubin Kazan on Thursday, but they seemed determined to put their recent troubles on the road behind them right from the off.

Falcao saw a fierce low effort well held by Dani on eight minutes, but the Colombian only had to wait three more minutes to get on the scoresheet as Gabi's free-kick took the Valladolid defence by surprise and despite Dani's best efforts from Godin's initial shot, Falcao was on hand to slot home the rebound.

The visitors continued to dominate throughout the first-half and Dani was again called into action to deny Costa and Miranda adding a second before the break.

However, the pattern continued after the break and Atleti finally had the two-goal lead their play deserved when Costa made no mistake with a low right-footed effort.

Miroslav Djukic then introduced Manucho in a bid to turn his side's fortunes around but the Angolan headed over with his best chance just after the hour and the hosts never really threatened a comeback.

And Atleti scored a third in stoppage time when Rodriguez pounced on an error by Antonio Rukavina, who had tried to chest the ball back to Dani to score just his third goal since joining the club in the summer.

Source: AFP